Platos theory of forms

Essay by valentine88High School, 11th grade May 2004

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According to Plato "The forms are not concepts in the mind, but are existing realities apart from the mind. The forms are eternal and immutable". Forms are imperfectly reflected in human affairs, and language limits us in how we can explain these forms. The forms are "out there" somewhere. The world from which these forms are described to come from is not one that can be viewed by the human eye but is visible as pattern. We can believe in the existence of ideal standards without claiming to possess them. The belief in an absolute that we do not possess is often the best way to understand the concept of it

When looking at Plato's theory of forms, you realise how clear it is that this philosophy, is essential to realise Plato's way of thinking and rationalising. Plato came to the conclusion that the theory of forms was based on two points

1. We can have knowledge e.g. maths and a basic understanding and recognition of object and other things. However we can never see the true knowledge or true object.

2. The knowledge of the world of forms cannot come through the senses. The forms are immutable and the knowledge of them is in our souls, which are also immutable but the knowledge lays dormant.

Plato's belief in these two main points was explained in two worlds, the material world this is the solid world we live in the world we know as reality. Then there is the empirical the perfect world of pattern and form. The world we have imitated imperfectly.

Plato also believed that the body and soul are dualist, meaning separate. This is part of Plato's philosophy of body and soul. He believed the body belonged to the...